4 samples in this category
The poem, “Thanatopsis,” written by William Cullen Bryant, is a wonderful literary work that explores the often controversial questions of death. Within his well written lines, Bryant attempts to show the relationship between death’s eternal questions and the ongoing cycle of nature and life. Upon concluding the poem many readers are able to reaffirm their faith in an afterlife, while others are left aimlessly pondering this strange possibility. Throughout the poem, Bryant creates images that connect death and sleep. In...
In the speaker’s vision of death, nature plays a central role. Instead of dealing with abstract entities like God, angels, souls, or Heaven, the speaker focuses on the physical objects that make up the mortal world — think: dirt, rivers, trees. In doing so, the speaker suggests that human beings aren’t all that different from these physical things — that each dead person is “brother to the insensible rock / And to the sluggish clod.” Though this comparison might seem...
In the two works, “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving and “Thanatopsis” by William Bryant, nature and mankind are two of the principal subjects, alike many other works created during the romantic period. In both works, nature and mankind’s desire to be in communion with one another due to nature’s attracting aesthetics of romanticism; the sublime, beautiful and picturesque. The sublime evokes a sense of awe and wonder and is characterized by sharp edges and dark scenery, while the beautiful...
‘Thanatopsis’ was written by William Cullen Bryant—probably in 1813, when the poet was just 19. It is Bryant’s most famous poem and has endured in popularity due its nuanced depiction of death and its expert control of meter, syntax, imagery, and other poetic devices. The poem gives voice to the despair people feel in contemplating death, then finds peace by viewing death as a harmonious part of nature. To put it bluntly, “Thanatopsis” is about death. The word thanatopsis itself...